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SOD Best & Worst -- 1987
Topic Started: Nov 14 2009, 12:58 PM (2,221 Views)
Matt
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MOST TRUE-TO-LIFE


MAGGIE HORTON, DAYS OF OUR LIVES
By incorporating actress Suzanne Rogers's struggle with myasthenia gravis into her character's story, DAYS presented this year's most realistic, inspirational and moving family drama. The disease was accurately chronicled from teh manifestation of early symptoms, to the diagnosis to the actual course of treatment. Watching Mickey, Maggie, Melissa and Sarah provided insight into how a family is torn apart and learns to cope with a loved one's illness -- an illness from which there is no magical soap opera cure. Suzanne Rogers's own strength, reserve and honesty are evident in the way the story avoided sensationalism and focused instead on the very real fears and physical problems that accompany the onset of myasthenia gravis.
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Matt
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MOST DISAPPOINTING SHOW


GENERAL HOSPITAL
Having already cited this show for the year's worst story line, it may seem like we're kicking a bad show when it's down, but someone has to tell the truth. GENERAL HOSPITAL isn't working anymore, on any level. Besides the inane stories (Monica Quartermaine going to the Biscayne Islands to haggle with third-rate revolutionaries?) there were three new characters (Carmellia, Greta Ingstrom, Rosa) who were brought on only to be dispactched when it became clear that they weren't clicking with already established characters. Add to this the not-so-exciting return of Robert Scorpio and you'll know why we consistently turned the channel. They couldn't even get Duke and Anna's wedding right. The minister read from the Bible with the vows highlighted with a marker. You know, like you did with your college textbooks. Yes, blunder for blunder, GH seems to be in a class by itself for embarrassing daytime programming.
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Matt
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BEST RECONCILIATION


MARK & ELLEN, ALL MY CHILDREN
Poor Ellen. She's never been lucky in the romance department. All her life she's been hurt by the men she's chosen. Ellen's first husband divorced her, leaving her to raise her daughter Devon alone. Her second husband, Mark Dalton, becamse a cocaine addict and caused her to miscarry their child. Third husband Ross cheated on her with his father's wife (see Best Story Line). It seemed as though Ellen was doomed to walk the earth without a loving partner by her side. But then the transformation of Mark Dalton from cocaine addict to supportive friend occurred. He stood by Ellen's side during her troubles with Ross and the disappearance of her daughter Julie. She stood by his side when he through he might have contracted AIDS. It became apparent that the love they once felt for each other was still there. With a new respect for each other, Ellen and Mark's friendship evolved into romance -- giving them the strength they needed to pull them through some of their darkest days.
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Matt
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BEST INTERRUPTED WEDDING


CORD & KATE, ONE LIFE TO LIVE
When a soap wedding is interrupted, some breathless person usually charges up the center aisle of the church prior to the exchange of vows. That didn't happen to Cord Roberts and Kate Sanders. The couple must have thought they were home-free after a priest and a rabbi pronounced them husband and wife.

The newlyweds were in the process of marching down the aisle when Cord's obviously-undead wife, Tina, entered with an infant in her arms. Everyone was stunned, and why not? She was probably the first (and the last) person to survive going over the Iguazu Falls in Argentina without benefit of a barrel. The first Mrs. Roberts (weak from jungle fever) managed to announce that the baby was Cord's son before she collapsed. What an entrance. What a scheme (little Al's daddy was really Mx Holden). What an interruption.
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Matt
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MOST RUINED CHARACTER


DONNA LOVE HUDSON, ANOTHER WORLD
Remember the "old" Donna? Feisty, infuriating, irresistable, unpredictable. She would have died before becoming anyone's victim. That was until poor Donna was carted off to the loony bin. At that time, Donna's portrayer, Anna Stuart, left the show.

Since then, AW has undergone many changes. Along the way, the decision was made to transform Donna from a bitch into a heroine. Philece Sampler, an experienced soap actress, was recast in the role. She has executed it as written. But the fact remains, the woman Michael rescued from the sanitarium wasn't Donna -- unless the writers forgot to mention that she had a lobotomy during her stint in the bin. What is missed most is the humor that the old Donna provided via her outrageous schemes and foolish pride. Bay City may have called the old Donna many things, but never a wimp.
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Matt
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CORNIEST SHOW


DAYS OF OUR LIVES
This year, DAYS OF OUR LIVES really overdid the hearts-and-flowers routine. The worst offenders? Justin and Adrienne. He developed a penchant for picking up a musical instrument and bursting into song. Which was always followed by Adrienne's tears. Then tere were those poetry readings. More tears. And the roses. And the costume ball, which featured yet another dose of Adrienne and Justin as Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester.

As for Steve and Kayla -- more mush. More waterworks. And another rose, this one made out of silver so it could never die -- just like their love. And let's not forget all those romantic fantasies in which the star-crossed couple found happiness.

Corniest of all was the canine shotgun wedding. Calliope hitched her pregnant pooch to the dog who got Martha with pup. The couple "wed" in Neil's living room; an affair complete with human and doggie guests, entertainment and formal attire for the bride and groom.

Only time will tell about Roman and Diana, but if the dancing-in-the-dark and seduction-by-microphone scenes are any indication, they're in for a long, corny romance.
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Matt
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BEST LOCATION SEQUENCES


ONE LIFE TO LIVE
ONE LIFE TO LIVE has consistently delivered stunning location sequences to its viewers. This year's journey to Argentina and the Iguazu Falls provided breathtaking scenery and extra excitement to the story of Tina's adventures with Max, Gabrielle, Cord and Kate.
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Matt
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BEST TURNING POINT


GUIDING LIGHT
Once a formidable force on daytime, GL's Reva had been stumbling. After her romance with Kyle went belly-up, Reva lost her direction. The character made an impressive comeback in a scene at the country club. Wearing her signature red dress, Reva went on a bender at the club, flirting with, then offending the members of that gathering place of the rich and stodgy. Hurt by Josh's rejection, the old Reva emerged: sexy, strong but terribly vulnerable. A welcomed party girl in better days, when she had connections, now Reva was asked to leave the premises. To her surprise, Alan and Phillip were the men who stood up for her. The scene signalled the return of a well-loved character, the hint of an exciting romance between Alan and Reva, and a change for the better at GL.
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Matt
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GIMME A BREAK


TEST PATTERN: REVA'S BABY, GUIDING LIGHT
Let's start at the beginning. GUIDING LIGHT's Reva got pregnant. Should the baby be Josh's or Kyle's? Someone (like the writers) couldn't decide. Reva was happy. She was finally going to be a mommy. Reva was sad. She didn't know who the daddy was. Forged paternity tests confirmed her worst suspicions: Kyle. But wait. Helpful Alan Spaulding ordered a new set of test for Ms. Shayne. The results this time correctly identified Josh as the proud papa. But Alan let Reva believe that he had arranged for the tests to come out that way. Because he loved her. So Reva gave up Josh. Just as well (see Worst Reconciliations).


DON'T SEND ME ROSES: NOELLE'S HYPNOTISM, ALL MY CHILDREN
Ok, you're Dr. Lazarre, and you want a good person to do things that make her appear bad. But you want it to look like she really is bad, at least for a while, even though she really is good. So, you stick a white rose in your lapel and she obeys you. (She also thinks she's an entirely different person.) Until a man with an accent figures out the trick and breaks the spell, on and off. Uh-huh. Noelle may have been hypnotized, but we got sleepy--...very sleepy...


HOOKERS 'R US: TEEN PROSTITUTION, DAYS OF OUR LIVES
When hardboiled Sasha started turning tricks for sleazy pimp, Nick Corelli, Jennifer and Frankie decided it was their job to reform the wayward teen -- and put evil Nick behind bars. These silly, self-appointed crime fighters dominated what might have passed for a reasonable story had the focus remained on Sasha and runaway Eve.


A CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE WORST KIND: THE UFO PLOT, THE COLBYS
What's the worst thing that can happen if your car breaks down in teh desert? How about a UFO drops out of the sky and offers you a lift? And then, in flight, you become part of a vague "medical experiment"? And, when you're no longer part of the alien science project, they drop you off? It can be a bit disorienting, especially if you aren't used to hitchhiking in the galaxy. So, Fallon's having a few adjustment problems. But who's to say this was Fallon's first sky ride? After all, nobody really knew where she was during her long bout of amnesia.
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Matt
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MOST ENTERTAINING COUPLE


GINA & KEITH, SANTA BARBARA
What is it about these two? We're supposed to be disgusted by them -- aren't we? After all, Gina is nothing but a gold-digger, right? Who can forget how Gina let Eden think she pulled the plug on her father's life support systerm? And wasn't Gina the one who possessed the evidence that could prove that Kelly killed Dylan Hartley in self-defense but, instead of turning it over to the police, blackmailed C.C. into marrying her for the second time -- keeping him from his beloved Sophia? And Keith. Well, he's sleaze personified. What can onel ife about a D.A. who gets perverse pleasure out of putting Cruz, an innocent man, behind bars for the rest of his life? Gina and Keith deserve to be hung by their toes from a chandelier and whipped with wet noodles, right? Wrong. They'd probably enjoy it. As hard as we try not to like these two, we do. Their scheming may cause much heartache for the Capwells, but many laughs for us. They're outrageous. They're campy. They like nothing better than to spend the afternoon in Gina's apartment thinking up new ways to use jello and whipped cream. There's never a dull moment with this duo.
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Matt
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BEST EXTENDED FAMILY


THE RYANS, RYAN'S HOPE
It's what RYAN'S HOPE is all about: family. Unlike GENERAL HOSPITAL or DAYS OF OUR LIVES, which tend to focus on action-adventure and love on the run, RH focuses on the lives of the Ryans, an Irish clan that is rich in tradition. It's one of hte few soaps that portrays four generations -- from grandparents down to grea-grandchildren. At the helm are Meave and Johnny, whose strong values and faith in God have gotten them through the good and the bad. Their successful marriage has been an example, as well as an inspiration, to all. When watching this soap, it's obvious that family is what it's all about. The love and support and trust the Ryans' have in each other is wonderfully depicted. Maybe that's why Ryan's Bar, the family-run business, is where everyone goes when seeking advice, comfort, or just a friendly atmosphere. Maeve and Johnny are always there for relatives, friends and even strangers, which gives the show a warm feeling. No wonder everyone turns up there. It's like coming home.
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Matt
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FUNNIEST SHOW


SANTA BARBARA
For the second year in a row, we've voted SANTA BARBARA as funniest daytime soap. The reason is simple: the writers pack a wallop of humor in their scripts. The other shows emphasize serious drama and action/adventure but offer few laughs. SB puts the accent on fun and the result is an outrageously delicious soap. Characters have a wit and sparkle that make them appealing (just listen to characters like Mason, for example, and you'll see what we mean). While the show has had its share of pointless plots and uncharismatic couplings, a lack of humor has never been one of its problems. SB has some of the funniest moments on daytime -- which is important. All too often, soaps come off as extremely melodramatic. SB has learned that a little humor goes a long way.
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Matt
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MOST IMPROVED SHOW


ALL MY CHILDREN
For far too long, we wondered what had happened to ALL MY CHILDREN. Story lines that started out wonderfully turned ridiculous. Longtime characters languished on the back burner and we found we no longer cared about them. Too many romantic duos lacked the zest necessary to become super couples. Though we didn't want to admit it, AMC had lost its spunk. Then, a new producer, Stephen Schenkel, came aboard and things started to turn around. Leading the pack of tightly written and beautifully executed stories was the Palmer/Natalie/Ross/Ellen quadrangle which set off several other provocative plots involving Ellen, Elizabeth and Julie. Equally intriguing was Nina's loss of Cliff and her impulsive decision to marry Matt; Mark's drug addiction and fear of AIDS; Erica's romance with Travis and her late-in-life pregnancy; and Brooke's new romance with Adam. These were, at last, stories and characters worth rooting for, and AMC became a soap worth tuning in to once again.
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Matt
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MOST INTRIGUING CHARACTERS


ROSS, ALL MY CHILDREN
VICTOR, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS
PETER, ANOTHER WORLD

Moody. Powerful. Vulnerable. Words that accurately describe three of the most intriguing characters on the soaps last year: ALL MY CHILDREN's Ross Chandler, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS's Victor Newman and ANOTHER WORLD's Peter Love. Trying to figure out these men is no easy task -- and might not be worth the effort. After all, the air of mystery that surrounds them is part of their charm. They are fierce competitors when it comes to business, letting nothing stand in their way of success, as in the case of AW's Peter. Yet, when it comes to love, these men often display a soft side -- though they can also become so consumed with desire that they take leave of their senses, like AMC's Ross did with Natalie. And what about Y&R's Victor? Here's an enigma if there ever was one. A passionate man who can be ruthless one moment, gentle the next. No doubt about it, these three are complex individuals -- and they're dazzling to watch, thanks to the actors who play them.
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Mason
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When SoapNet started airing AW, I was disappointed when the show basically did nothing with Peter. He could have been a great character.
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Matt
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MOST SHOCKING TWIST


RICHARD CHANNING AS ANGELA'S SON, FALCON CREST
The revelation came as a complete shock, with no foreshadowing whatsoever. In the cliffhanger episode ending the '86-'87 season, viewers watched Angela Channing quietly read a letter from her soon-to-be ex-husband, Peter. Nothing unusual about that. Except the letter revealed that Angela's firstborn son did not die at birth, as she had been told. Instead her husband, Douglas, and his mistress, Jacqueline Perrault, gave the infant away -- and the boy had grown up to become her worst enemy, Richard Channing. Using a sepiatone clip from an old Jane Wyman film, The Blue Veil, we saw a flashback of young Angela being told of her baby's death.
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Jane Wyman films are friggen ADDICTING! So over the top and melodramatic.
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Matt
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BEST DAYTIME CASTING


DAVID FORSYTH (JOHN HUDSON, ANOTHER WORLD)
In a genre cluttered with empty chatter, John Hudson is refreshingly frugal with words. It's an economy accomplished with meaningful looks that really mean something, and maturity and history -- on the parts of both performer and character -- that render long-winded discourse unnecessary. John Hudson came to AW as a Vietnam vet haunted by his experiences in the war. David Forsyth brings his own past as a Vietnam vet tot he role, and his scenes have been textured and affecting. The embittered third party in a love triangle, Hudson's sardonic wit reveals his jaded attitude toward life and romance. But Forsyth doesn't let John wallow in self-pity. The undercurrent of anger in Forsyth's delivery, the voice of a man treated unjustly, makes Hudson a powerful and complex character, skillfully underplayed.


JOANNA JOHNSON (CAROLINE SPENCER, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL)
THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL had a formidable casting chore: Find an actress to portray a sweet, naive virgin, who, despite being played for a fool again and again, and being pursued by every eligible man on the show, could win viewer respect and sympathy. B&B was on the mark with Joanna Johnson. Her natural, elegant beauty is visually ideal for the indulged, upper-class Caroline. Given her background, Caroline could come across as spoiled or shallow. Johnson plays the character with a simplicity and artlessness that allow her to be intelligent without being worldly. Caroline is a surprisingly moving character, in very capable hands.
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Matt
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BEST PRIME-TIME CASTING


NICOLLETTE SHERIDAN (PAIGE MATHESON, KNOTS LANDING)
One minute, KNOTS LANDING's Paige is a lonely, confused girl who wants her daddy. The next, she's a cunning schemer steamrolling anyone that gets in her way -- whether it's tough-as-nails Abby Ewing or Abby's fragile daughter, Olivia. Stunning Nicollette Sheridan has a field day with the completely amoral Paige, victim of a selfish and irresponsible mother (Michelle Phillips was superbly cast as Anne). Sheridan gives Paige a flip attitude, an easy smirk, and a conscience in hibernation -- as well as a touch of vulnerability that makes her father Mack's tenderness toward her believable.
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Matt
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BEST PRIME-TIME SHOW


FALCON CREST
FALCON CREST was the most thrilling, exciting of the prime-time soaps this year and no on expected to be so enthralled. But there we were, week ofter week, from the moment Kim Novak (as campy mystery woman Kit Marlowe) swapped a brown wig for goldilocks, to the season's final frame of bedeviled Maggie holding her baby minutes after Melissa's car went off a San Francisco pier. We cracked up at the dialogue, cheered the new romance of Maggie and Richard (see Best Love Story), and were simply amazed at how fast the show was moving.

Speed was the secret weapon of executive producers Joanne Brough and Jeff Freilich this past year. That, and crackerjack directing, editing and new background music by Mark Snow made watching the show feel like a rollercoaster ride. Not a moment was wasted. The exterior shots looked great and the show's attention to detail, such as having Coast Guard helicopters present at the fall premiere rescue scenes in San Francisco Bay, was marvelous. Stories like the Kit Marlowe mystery were well-crafted and came full circle. Melissa's nervous breakdown and subsequent dangerous wife/chanteause turn gave us chills and laughs and Ana-Alicia some juicy moments.

In fact, all the major performers on FC were outstanding. Jane Wyman stole an entire episode with one Jack Benny-esque look and gave Angela a new vulnerability. Susan Sullivan gave Maggie more of an edge. David Selby truly hit his stride as Richard Channing, making him for the first time more of a hero than a villain. Viewers couldn't ask for more entertainment in an hour of television.
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