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SOD Best & Worst -- 2003
Topic Started: Nov 29 2009, 06:38 PM (1,694 Views)
Mason
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BEST COUPLE


SONNY AND CARLY, GENERAL HOSPITAL


Passionate, vulnerable, stubborn, flawed...Sonny and Carly are a fascinating kaleidoscope of emotions that tip one way and then another.

They were contenders for "Most Tortured Couple" - and it's been a turbulent year - but Sonny and Carly's fierce commitment in the face of adversity makes us celebrate their overwhelming love.

When Carly almost lost their unborn son and feared he was fathered by Ric, Sonny supported and trusted his wife. Then she was kidnapped, by Ric and then Alcazar. Each was sustained by an unshakable faith in the other, and Sonny and Carly were eventually reunited. This year, their marriage has been put to the ultimate test: Can another man come between them by taking advantage of Carly's fragile mental state following her shooting?

Although Sonny and Carly (along with their legion of fans) were put through the wringer in 2003, they are the model for how to keep a couple exciting after the "I do's."
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Mason
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WORST COUPLE


GREENLEE AND CARLOS, ALL MY CHILDREN


It seemed a forgone conclusion, after AMC's great success with the Greenlee/Leo love story, that fans would have a tough time accepting the widow's first post-Leo romance. It also seemed like the now-deposed writing team responsible for Greenlee's hookup with Carlos went out of its way to ensure a viewer backlash.

This pairing was a flop of the highest order, a stop-and-go selection of "twists" ("Fusion's maintenance man is courting Greenlee with e-mails...that he didn't actually write!") that made us wonder not "When will these two get together?" but, "Why are they doing this to Rebecca Budig (Greenlee)?" By the time this plot limped to its finish line (something about Carlos disapproving of Greenlee's method of snaring department-store shelf space for Fusion), we were way past the point of caring how it ended. We were just grateful it did.
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Mason
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BEST TRIANGLE


RIDGE/BROOKE/NICK, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


Landing soap vet Jack Wagner as Nick, the seafaring hunk and Ridge's sudden half-brother, was a shipshape start. Playing spoiler to a long-time supercouple can be a thankless job, but Nick's charismatic machismo turned out to be a double-edged saber: grabbing Brooke's attention and nicely ticking off Ridge.

It also helps that there's chemistry between the rivals. We loved how they aspired to act like suave adults, but frequently resorted to adolescent namecalling (Ridge branding Nick "Popeye" was the funniest dig).

Even though Ridge and Brooke are married, there's hardly smooth sailing ahead - she's now pregnant and uncertain of which sib is the daddy. While not an atypical story, it keeps this captivating trio tied together - and with Samantha pining for Ridge on the sidelines, they could be the Best Quadrangle next year.
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Mason
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WORST TRIANGLE


JOEY/JENNIFER/REX, ONE LIFE TO LIVE


Didja hear the one about the minister, the club owner and the sex kitten? Yeah, it sounds like a joke and that, quite frankly, is what the triangle between Joey, Jen and Rex has been.

Neither pairing makes much sense. Jen wed bad boy Rex to make Rev. Joe jealous; then she married Joey, but secretly keeps turning to Rex. Huh? We'd buy her wishy-washiness if Jen had a defined connection with either man. However, Rex usually annoys her, and she has little in common with her holy hubby. We're having a hard time buying that Rex regards Jen as anything more than a trophy, or that Joey would go against his faith for her. As for Jen, she has cheated on (and alienated) both men!

In a good triangle, viewers are invested in both sides. When they care about neither, it's in poor shape.
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Mason
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MOST SHOCKING TWIST


KILLING OFF THE CAST, DAYS OF OUR LIVES


When you hear the term "serial killer" used in connection with a soap storyline, it usually means that some under-five is going to off another bunch of under-fives. But DAYS went boldly where no soap has gone before (to this extent, at least) by axing beloved, front-burner faves to tell a riveting story.

At press time, there were 10 actors we knew of who were (or will be) victims of the Salem Stalker, with more on the way. Heartbreaking for viewers? Yes. Impossible to turn off? Yes, indeed. Credit Head Writer/Consulting Producer James E. Reilly with crafting a clever murder mystery that has kept fans, Internet message boards - and us! - guessing whodunit from the get-go.

It is a risky move to test the fans' loyalty by shrinking the canvas, but judging by the numbers, it's paying off.
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Mason
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MOST PREPOSTEROUS PLOT


SHERIDAN'S KIDNAPPING, PASSIONS


Mystical dancing babies, daydreaming orangutans...PASSIONS has a rep for telling bizarre tales. And in the supernatural world of Harmony, boogying babies and advanced primates almost make sense. But the final twist in Sheridan's kidnapping story was too much.

Luis, a police officer, scoured the town for his missing lover, when all the while she was stashed in the Wallace basement. He never suspected a smitten Beth's motives, nor did he realize that the "baby" Beth was carrying was really a sack of sugar. Still, we went along for the ride.

But the revelation that Beth's accomplice, Charlie, was really Sheridan's elderly dad, Alistair, in disguise took the story to outer limits. Are we to believe that the hard-living Crane patriarch can impersonate a strapping, relatively young woman? Who do we look like? Luis?
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Eric83
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"Relax nobody's having sex.... at least not yet"

I loved the beginning of the SSK storyline, I will always hold Corday responsible for screwing with it, and bringing all the victims back. None of them have any major presence on the show now, except for Maggie.

I also loved the Sheridan's kidnapping on Passions. That was back when the show was good, and watching Beth walk around with a bag of sugar (salt?) as her pregnant belly was so deliciously camp and OTT.
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Mason
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BEST RECAST


PAUL, AS THE WORLD TURNS


Whether a recast was necessary (many agreed it wasn't) is irrelevant. So is the hoopla over his hiring (arguably symbolic of this shocking soap year) and the inevitable gossip that followed. Yes, Roger Howarth, the subject, is notoriously controversial.

But forget all of that for a minute and focus on this: Roger Howarth, the actor. Volatile, electric and disturbing, he is, quite simply, a force. The atmosphere seems to crackle when he enters a room; other characters bounce off him like with no one else. With help from the writers, Howarth completely reinvented Paul, yet ironically managed to make him exactly, at last, what he should be. Darkly threatening, oddly eccentric, emotionally awkward, he is undoubtedly the twisted product of Barbara and James, to the last twitching molecule.

Of course, you can never completely separate the actor from the hype, but anyone who sparks such passion has to be doing something right.


(This is such a load of crap. Howarth was the worst thing to happen to the character of Paul.)
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Mason
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ga68153
Nov 29 2009, 07:02 PM
I also loved the Sheridan's kidnapping on Passions. That was back when the show was good, and watching Beth walk around with a bag of sugar (salt?) as her pregnant belly was so deliciously camp and OTT.
I hated that storyline, LoL. That was the beginning of PASSIONS's decline, for me.
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Eric83
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"Relax nobody's having sex.... at least not yet"

Mason
Nov 29 2009, 07:05 PM
ga68153
Nov 29 2009, 07:02 PM
I also loved the Sheridan's kidnapping on Passions. That was back when the show was good, and watching Beth walk around with a bag of sugar (salt?) as her pregnant belly was so deliciously camp and OTT.
I hated that storyline, LoL. That was the beginning of PASSIONS's decline, for me.
Lol yeah, I hated how they drug out Beth having Marty and taking him. That lasted way too long. Sheridan kept telling Luis it was their child together, and Beth took it, but no he just acted like an idiot, not believing her. Luis and Rafe are too damn similar.
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Mason
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WORST RECAST


BILLY, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS


This category has been problematic in the past because when one thinks of a bad recast, it can seem to be a reflection of the actor. Very often, that's not the case: Some actors just aren't meant for some parts. Given that, Ryan Brown had the unenviable task of taking over a popular character (which garnered the nod for "Best Teen" in our 1999 Best & Worst issue). Brown's predecessor, David Tom, brought a youthful, headstrong spunkiness to the youngest Abbott, but smart-alecky Billy went away and returned a more mature, somewhat dry and pretty humorless bore. Basically, he left as Billy, but returned as Bill. While Brown's performance was capable, he was no longer the flawed-but-fun teen who viewers had come to know and love, and his six-and-a-half-month tenure backs up the argument.
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Mason
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BEST NEW CHARACTER


DILLON, GENERAL HOSPITAL


Dillon is smart, he's funny, he's absolutely adorable - and he isn't even old enough to drink! This newbie is one of the best additions to the GH canvas in quite awhile.

Dillon realistically captures those gawky adolescent years via his rebellious, romantic, insecure, confused emotions. We see raging hormones (including numerous failed attempts to "do it" with Georgie and the hysterical purchase of condoms), selfless generosity, angst and family woes (oh, that Q clan). Dillon has won the hearts of viewers of all ages.

Sure, the writing has been first-rate (the character's love of movies was a deft touch), but props to his portrayer, Scott Clifton: With charisma and comedic flair, he is leading Dillon into manhood - and holding his own with GH's heavyweights. It just goes to show that age is only a state of mind.
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Deleted User
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Yes, Dillon WAS awesome until that cancerous Lulu.
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Mason
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WORST NEW CHARACTER


LYDIA, GENERAL HOSPITAL


In a year in which GH struck gold with Dillon, it's amazing how poorly Lydia fared. When not one, but two actresses fail to sell a character to viewers in the space of a year, one must look beyond performance.

Perhaps Lydia was doomed from the start due to her insipid storyline as a bride imported by Stefan to provide an heir for an unwilling Nikolas. An island character, she never made crucial connections. Without the sass of a bad-ass like Faith, Lydia was someone we didn't even love to hate. Then, she switched sides and suddenly we were supposed to feel sympathy for her. Uh, no. She was a lackluster chick in a town filled with strong, feisty women.

Lydia may have been intriguing in theory, but the character never translated on-screen. To their credit, the writers realized their error: They sent Lydia and her designer duds packing.
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Mason
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BEST SUPERCOUPLE IN TRAINING


LUCAS AND SAMI, DAYS OF OUR LIVES


Who'da thunk it? The most talked about couple on DAYS now is also its unlikeliest pairing. They've topped the Digest online polls and have Web sites devoted exclusively to them.

Lucas and Sami (or Lumi, as they've been known online for years) have spent most of the last decade plotting each other's demise and bitterly battling over custody of their son, Will. But suddenly last summer, the two realized that underneath their hate, there was some like and a whole lot of attraction. They'd rather die than admit their true feelings, but it's clear from their subtle gestures that these two are on a collision course with supercoupledom.

Alison Sweeney (Sami) and Bryan R. Dattilo (Lucas) haven't clicked in on-screen romances in the past, but the chemistry between them is undeniable. We'll say it again: They're luminous.
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Deleted User
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They WERE luminous. Thanks for fucking that up JER!
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Mason
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BEST NON-COUPLE


JULIAN AND EVE, PASSIONS


She is a down-to-earth pillar of the community. He is a boozing alley cat. Yet PASSIONS's Julian and Eve have emerged as one of daytime's most winning duos.

Maybe it's because they bring out in each other what they keep hidden from everyone else. Around Eve, Julian evolves into the kind, generous soul nobody else gets to see (just ask ex-wife Ivy or fiancee Rebecca). In turn, Crane awakens a smoldering passion in the doc that's missing in her mundane marriage to T.C. There's an easy chemistry between portrayers Ben Masters and Tracey Ross.

Yes, Julian and Eve's past was tawdry (he introduced her to a fast, drug-fueled lifestyle), but now they're older, wiser and share something beyond physical attraction. The revelation that their love child is still alive has cemented Julian and Eve's bond. Maybe they'll discover that, as Old Blue Eyes crooned, love is lovelier, the second time around.
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Mason
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BEST NEW COUPLE


AL AND MARCIE, ONE LIFE TO LIVE


When OLTL introduced sweet, insecure (and yes, overweight) Marcie, no one expected her to become half of one of the show's most endearing couples. But as she shared scenes with Al, we realized that they possessed something special.

What's so appealing about Marcie and Al (a.k.a. Marcal) is the reality factor: Neither defines the typical standard for soap beauty, and they're basically good, but flawed people. Unlike many daytime relationships, this one wasn't rushed. It gradually evolved from friendship to love; they didn't sleep together until they'd been dating for several months. We found them easy to relate to and root for, and based on the uproar when Al was killed off, fans wholeheartedly agreed.

We're not sure bringing back Al as a spirit inhabiting another man's body is the best way to revisit the romance, but we're grateful for the time we had with Marcal.
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Mason
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BEST CHEMISTRY


GUS AND HARLEY, GUIDING LIGHT


Quite frankly, Gus and Harley could read a phone book and we'd still be glued to our screens. That elusive, undefinable spark that soaps constantly search for emanates from every one of their interactions. Sometimes, it's just a glance that seems to make everyone else in the room disappear. Sometimes, it's their rapid-fire banter. But every time, Gus and Harley sizzle.

They're sexy. They're smart. They're strong. They're not afraid to call each other on their weaker points or show their vulnerable sides. Whether Gus and Harley are nuzzling in the bedroom, pounding the pavement looking for a bad guy or engaging in some friendly crime-fighting competition, it's perfectly clear that they have the art of romance down to a science.


(Gag me. Gus and Harley was one of the most overrated couples e-v-e-r.)
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Mason
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BEST RETURN


ANNA STUART, ALL MY CHILDREN


In a year that saw a gaggle of performers "of a certain age" relegated to the storyline sidelines, AMC's decision to expand its over-40 roster by bringing back Anna Stuart (ex-Donna, AW/ATWT, who memorably but all-too-briefly inhabited the role of Greenlee's money-hungry mama in 2002) was a surprise. But Stuart did far more than buck a trend - she became a one-woman argument for disbanding. With a click of Mary's couture heels, Stuart juiced up several major stories, holding her own - and then some - opposite a who's who of Pine Valley's heaviest hitters. Whether she's trading barbs with Erica, clashing classes with Reggie, foraying into fisticuffs with Opal or restoring the devilish glint that's long been missing from Adam's eye, Stuart's tremendous gifts as a comic foil make it clear that she's not just back - she's back where she belongs.
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