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SOD Best & Worst -- 2004
Topic Started: Nov 30 2009, 08:59 PM (2,039 Views)
Mason
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MOST REJUVENATED MALE CHARACTER


THORNE, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


Sure, we liked rich-boy Thorne's unexpected romance with working-class Darla, but we assumed the next chapter would be him showing her how to use a shrimp fork. After all, not only was his big brother, Ridge, dominating parental attention, but airtime as well. Then we got a surprise. Eric snatched back the presidency of Forrester Creations from Thorne, kicking off a stunning change in him. Instead of accepting his lot as second-best son, Thorne reinvented himself, with Winsor Harmon guiding his character's emotional journey with self-assurance and heart. Now, insecurity has been replaced by confidence, disappointment with determination and a sense of duty with defiance. Thorne is still a decent, admirable man, but now he's much stronger. This is one Thorne we want on our side.
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Mason
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MOST REJUVENATED FEMALE CHARACTER


REVA, GUIDING LIGHT


Kim Zimmer can make anything work, but that's no excuse for consistently saddling Reva with some of the most sub-standard material in soaps. Thankfully this year, the show dropped all the nonsensical plot points and psychic skills and brought this fiery, loving-to-a-fault drama queen back to full-blooded life. The revelation that Jonathan, not Sandy, is her biological son sent Reva reeling. Why had Sandy orchestrated this charade? Why did she still love him like a son? How could she learn to love Jonathan, who is, quite frankly, a nightmare sprung to life? These are questions that resonate with the audience and give Zimmer meaty scenes where she can really shine. (The riveting confrontation between Reva and Jonathan in October is something that fans are still talking about.) Yes, Zimmer can do anything. But this is really something.
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Eric83
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"Relax nobody's having sex.... at least not yet"

Mason
Dec 4 2009, 08:12 PM
WORST USE OF HISTORY


MARYANNE MYSTERY, GUIDING LIGHT


Granted, when we said that we wanted GL's vets to be showcased, we should have been more specific. Billy, Josh, Buzz, Ed and Alan are staples of Springfield, each with a long, complicated past that could have spun out interesting story. Instead, the show told viewers: Forget everything you've watched. Wipe years of story from your mind. From now on, think of Springfield as a magical place where the past, unless newly created, has no bearing on the present.

In short, the plot was this: These five men accidentally killed a girl 27 years ago and kept it a secret. A Southern aristocrat living in a secret cave sought revenge, but she was actually the murderer. Given these men's disparate histories and backgrounds, the created scenario never could have happened in '77. End of story - which, thankfully, is now rarely mentioned. Hey, maybe the past is sometimes better left buried.
Even with all the plotholes, I still loved this story.
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Mason
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BEST BOARDROOM DRAMA


THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


Boardroom battles would not appear to be a sizzling topic, but when the Forresters get their professional hackles up, high drama typically ensues. The source of 2004's power struggle was Thorne's push for a higher profile at Forrester Creations. He and big brother Ridge promptly locked horns and when patriarch Eric sided with Ridge, a ticked-off Thorne crossed enemy lines to run Spectra. His leadership (not to mention sabotage) transformed the struggling company into a respected comer that gave Forrester stiff competition. Take that, Ridge!

What makes this such a compelling competition is the intensity of it all. Ridge's arrogance versus Thorne's yearning for long-overdue respect drove the tale; the emotions were powerful and the characterizations consistent. B&B reinvigorated its two core families, brought years of Thorne's blistering-but-dormant resentment to a head and set the stage (or is that runway?) for future drama. And like the fashionistas, they did it with style.
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Mason
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WORST BOARDROOM DRAMA


ALL MY CHILDREN


Unlike B&B, which has done a masterful job of connecting its corporate shenanigans to the hearts and souls of its characters, the wheeling and dealing that has left the fate of Cambias Industries floating in midair (Will Ryan keep it? Will Ethan get control? Or will Miranda Montgomery become a pint-sized CEO?) has been met with a yawn and a shrug from fans. Which makes sense. AMC wants us to believe that the stakes are high, but it just doesn't seem to matter all that much who ends up ruling the roost. When Michael was still around, we understood his thirst for control of the corporation - he was 1) ruthless and 2) desperate for daddy's approval. But the players currently circling around Cambias just don't share Mikey's lust for power and profit - and if we barely buy that they care about the company, well, why should we?
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Mason
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BEST NON-COUPLE


JASON AND SAM, GENERAL HOSPITAL


Jason has never really gotten his love life together, mostly because his foremost devotion has always been to Sonny. In fact, he only partnered up with Sam because her pregnancy threatened the boss's marriage. Dutiful Jason was assigned to babysit the mom-to-be and ended up a surrogate father. That's where it got complicated. There is no romance yet, but Jason and Sam have sloooowly (excruciatingly so, but worth every second) developed a deeper connection - only strengthened after the baby's death - as annoyance and distrust gave way to respect and concern. Through her relationship with Jason, Sam (introduced in the spunky vixen mold) is better defined. As for Jason, well, his feelings for her could induce a cataclysmic shift in all he holds sacred - that is, his undying loyalty to Sonny. That we're willing to root for that is a miracle in itself. Of course, part of what makes a "non-couple" best is wanting to drop the "non."
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Mason
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MOST TORTURED COUPLE


LUIS AND SHERIDAN, PASSIONS


Luckless lovers Luis and Sheridan have taken this category in 2000, '02 and '03. Every time it looks like the doomed duo will catch a break, something goes horribly awry. Former amnesiac Sheridan finally confessed to husband Antonio that his bro, Luis, is her true love and was close to discovering that kidnapped Little Martin is her and Luis's presumed-dead child. But then her dad, Alistair, arranged for her to undergo electroshock therapy, so she forgot Luis. Again. Antonio was presumed dead in a jet crash, and Luis and Sheridan reunited, but after five years, the fans have yet to be rewarded with a valid Luis/Sheridan wedding. That hasty Mexican commitment ceremony didn't cut it. We'll have to wait until Antonio is officially declared dead - uh huh, like that will happen. Who'd have thought that the Boston Red Sox would conquer their curse before Luis and Sheridan overcame theirs?
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Mason
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BEST TEENS


GUIDING LIGHT


Soap teens have a lot of things working against them. They're often played by green actors thrust into story that become marginalized because frankly, it's hard to guess what most teens are thinking in real life, never mind in soapland. But GL's newest generation avoids all the clichés, not only because they're personable, attractive, capable actors - Scott Bailey (Sandy), Mandy Bruno (Marina), John Driscoll (Coop), Stephanie Gatschet (Tammy), Crystal Hunt (Lizzie) and Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan) - but because the characters have the same nuances as real people who just happen to be young.

That's not to say that they don't act their age: They're realistic, funny, charming without being annoyingly precocious and hung-up on problems that life experience will solve. They each have their own identity, yet none of them are stereotypes. (We've all known a creepy, lost boy like Jonathan and a rich, insecure brat like Lizzie.) Ah, kids today. To think GL actually figured 'em out.
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Mason
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MOST TOPICAL STORY


THE '04 ELECTION, ONE LIFE TO LIVE


It's not uncommon for a soap opera to have a story coincide with events on our collective, real-life calendars, but it's not always as well done as OLTL's handling of Brooks and Kevin's election as governor and lieutenant governor, respectively. Having the on-screen voters head to the polls on the actual U.S. Election Day (a plan that fortunately was not thwarted by unforeseen pre-emptions) enabled the show to borrow some of the drama from the conclusion of the six-month Bush vs. Kerry showdown. The show's mirroring of the real-life election went so far as to mention exceptional turnout. And unlike the week-long wedding days and New Year's Eve parties we've seen before, OLTL wisely wrapped up the election and declared Kevin and Brooks winners by the end of that day's episode - a quick, tidy result that sadly escaped real-life voters in the past two presidential elections.
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Mason
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BEST BROTHERS


MICHAEL AND KEVIN, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS


Last year, the reveal that Michael and Kevin are brothers was named Best Secret. In 2004, the secret is out and this complicated relationship is smashing. We know we shouldn't like these guys, what with their misogynistic, sociopathic past misdeeds. But Christian J. LeBlanc (Michael) and Greg Rikaart's (Kevin) compatibility and fearless acting styles make for a winning team. Naturally, credit goes to the scribes for full-bodied characters who balance tragedy and comedy. Case in point: When Kevin challenged Michael to a boxing match over Lauren, the scenes contained a "Who does that?" humor, but then morphed into intense drama as Kevin's deep-seated rage over childhood abuse erupted in the ring, concluding when he collapsed sobbing in big bro's arms. As they dance on the thin line between love and hate, these sibs are a knockout.
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Mason
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MOST OVERUSED SOAP CLICHÉ


AMNESIA


Amnesia is one of those genre conventions that undoubtedly belongs in daytime. It's a classic twist - ranking above even interrupted weddings and long-lost children among old soap standbys - that rarely misfires. And yet this staple seemed to have been, well, forgotten in recent years. So, we were open-minded when GH's Nikolas got amnesia last April. Then, GL's Michelle, DAYS's Shawn and ATWT's Jack also became afflicted with the disorder. Suddenly, it was a case of too much of a good thing. It's not that any of the amnesia stories were bad; each version had merit and the actors involved did a fine job, but having nearly half of the daytime lineup featuring befuddled characters made us wish our memories had been zapped. Our advice: Any other show that plans to include this (admittedly irresistible) cliché had best forget about it - at least for a year.
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Mason
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BEST PAYOFFS


PASSIONS


For a while, it looked like the slow-moving soap should have been named PATIENCE. Fortunately, that is changing. Prior to a two-week pre-emption for the Summer Olympics, PASSIONS went into a sprint and is still bounding forward, rewarding fans with long-anticipated developments. The reveal that lovers Chad and Whitney are siblings was satisfyingly explosive and the ripples continue in two core families, especially because Whit is preggers. After years of Pilar pining for long-lost husband Martin, he came home - along with his "wife", Katherine, who happens to be Sheridan's presumed-dead mom. This tale has likewise set off a domino effect. Finally putting a face to evil Crane patriarch Alistair was a good move, opening up story options. By picking up the pace and delivering more can't-miss moments, PASSIONS gives fans incentive to tune in tomorrow.
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WTGH
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Bitch!

2004 was the last good year all around for ATWT, IMO.

I even liked the much hated Doc Reese and Pilar Domingo SL's.-
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juniorz1
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The Royal Stoner

I disagree. I pretty much LOVED all of 2005, with the Jenn/Gwen baby switch and the Carly/Iris storyline. I just really liked that they mapped out a huge umbrella story for the year and did not deviate from their plan. After the story ended, the show was still strong but petered out a bit. That was the last year of greatness IMO.
Edited by juniorz1, Dec 7 2009, 02:23 PM.
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Mason
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BEST ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING


SOAPNET


Sure, we can't get enough of the KNOTS LANDING reruns, Sammy Jo sliding down the Carringtons' banister for the first time on DYNASTY and catching DAYS at night, but this year, SoapNet branched out to create lively, original programming that makes this network more must-see than ever. The reality series, I WANNA BE A SOAP STAR was a fun, backstage look at how technical and competitive the soap world really is. Winner Mykel was the clear front-runner from the start, but that didn't make it any less engrossing as contestants were "killed off." ONE DAY WITH..., hosted by GH's Wally Kurth (Ned), is a peek into soap actors' personal lives, from getting the kids ready for school (GH's Rick Hearst, Ric) to giving blood (with DAYS's Matthew Ashford, Jack). This lovingly produced line-up (along with Emmy-nominated SOAP TALK) underscores what SoapNet has always done best: treat the genre with the legitimacy and respect it deserves.



(....that is, until Brian Frons took over)
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Mason
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juniorz1
Dec 7 2009, 12:39 PM
I disagree. I pretty much LOVED all of 2005, with the Jenn/Gwen baby switch and the Carly/Iris storyline. I just really liked that they mapped out a huge umbrella story for the year and did not deviate from their plan. After the story ended, the show was still strong but petered out a bit. That was the last year of greatness IMO.
ITA.
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Mason
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MOST WASTED OPPORTUNITIES


AS THE WORLD TURNS


In January, ATWT was arguably the best soap on the air, destined for a brilliant year: the aftermath of Rose's death set up intriguing possibilities for Dusty, Lily, Holden and Molly and Paul, Rosanna and Craig, not to mention loony-but-human Barbara; Alison had wed Aaron, but longed for Chris; Katie had moved on with Mike when Simon resurfaced.

Then, ATWT devolved into a hodge-podge of abandoned trajectories and plot-driven distractions (from "keys to the kingdom" and nutty Pilar, to psychic Parker and Cabot-in-peril, to name a few) as story after story was awkwardly truncated to favor couples over character at the expense of carefully crafted integration. By September, it was hard to invest in any of it.

It's not that ATWT wasn't good - we awarded it "Editors' Choice" more often than Y&R this year - it's just that we know it could have been so much better.
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Sindacco
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Do you have Best and Worst 2002?
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Mason
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WORST GIMMICK


WIDE WORLD OF SOAPS


The hiatus taken by NBC Daytime for the Summer Olympics presented the competition with a unique opportunity to lure in new viewers. So, we applaud ABC for its aggressive attempt to nab the NBC fans' attention. But, what seemed crafty in theory was far from artful in execution. Bob Guiney seemed to have fun hosting ABC's sports-spoofing "Wide World of Soaps," which ran throughout the channel's three-hour suds line-up during the games. He just wasn't the right man for the job: Neither THE BACHELOR nor his marriage to Rebecca Budig (Greenlee, AMC) made him a great "get" in soap fans' eyes. (GH's Maurice Benard, on the other hand...) But what really missed the mark was the tone of the spots, which made the shows look fluffy, its actors look silly and its female characters appear unilaterally man-hungry. Oh, the agony of defeat.
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Mason
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Sindacco
Dec 7 2009, 12:49 PM
Do you have Best and Worst 2002?
Yes, I'm going to post it along with 2000 and 2001.
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