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SOD Best & Worst -- 2000
Topic Started: Dec 7 2009, 03:45 PM (1,598 Views)
Mason


BEST MALE RETURN


DIMITRI, ALL MY CHILDREN


Outraged fans cried, "foul" in 1999 when Michael Nader was axed from his role as Dimitri. They missed Nader's textured portrayal of the dark, charismatic count. Happily, ALL MY CHILDREN fixed things by bringing Nader back in time for May sweeps and plunging presumed-dead Dimitri into a complicated triangle with "widow" Alex and brother Edmund. This wasn't a tale of "Who will she choose?" - Alex promptly rushed back to her hubby. Now the story is about the fallout from this complicated family affair. Alex is in love with Dimitri, yet she's still drawn to her ex-fiancé, who has gone a little loco in the wake of their breakup. Nader's chemistry with co-stars Finola Hughes (Alex) and John Callahan (Edmund), combined with a talent for convincingly playing romantic hero or big, bad meanie, prove that he - and the count - are back where they belong.
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Mason


BEST WEDDING


HAYLEY AND MATEO, ALL MY CHILDREN


Romance is the heartbeat of soap opera, and nothing is more romantic than a wedding - especially one as long-awaited as Hayley and Mateo's. AMC pulled out all the stops to give this deserving couple a lavish, traditional ceremony. Attention to detail made these nups stand out. The bride was outfitted in an elegant Vera Wang creation, and a detailed set gave the illusion of a light and airy room in the country rather than a cavernous soundstage in Manhattan. Of course, it wouldn't have been a soap wedding without a dark cloud, which a boozed-up Arlene provided when she crashed the reception, announced that she'd wed Adam and then tumbled into the cake. AMC had the newlyweds head to the beach for a private party, while their guests dealt with the mother of the bride, thus letting us enjoy the mayhem without feeling short-changed on the romance. As Isabella reminded her daughter-in-law, "Your wedding was beautiful. No one can take that away from you, ever."
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Mason


WORST WEDDING


SCOTT AND LUCY, PORT CHARLES


When Scott and Lucy first sparked on GENERAL HOSPITAL in 1988, P.C. denizens dubbed them a "match made in hell". In the years since, the couple has been through the wringer, but always came back to each other - and that deserved a major blowout of a wedding. Instead, their nups were interrupted by a minor plot point (Christina's brief disappearance). A quickie wedding later on in a judge's chambers also missed the mark - and again revolved around Christina (they were fighting to keep custody). As two of daytime's most beloved characters, Scott and Lucy deserved better. A formal, all-frills wedding wasn't necessary (in hindsight, it wouldn't fit either character's personality), but they certainly deserved a ceremony that honored their friendship, loyalty and affection. (Don't even get us started on the fact that they split up six weeks later.) Knowing this twosome, they'll reconcile, so here's hoping the writers get it right the next time around.
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Mason


MOST REALISTIC TEEN


SUSAN, GUIDING LIGHT


Susan has a chip on her shoulder - and isn't afraid to tell anyone within earshot about it. This 14-year-old sneaks out after curfew, aspires to be popular in high school and struggles with living in a blended family. "You're so unfair!" she blasts at biological mom Harley, while simultaneously rolling her eyes at stepfather Phillip. Talk about reality television - what adult co-habitating with an adolescent hasn't heard lines just like that? Susan's drama hits a nerve for anyone who hasn't blocked out the trials and tribulations of the journey between childhood and adulthood. Susan's honesty and vulnerability (and don't forget - major mood swings!) are a refreshing change of pace: We've all known - or been - a teen like Susan.
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Mason


MOST REALISTIC FAMILY


NICK, SHARON, CASSIE AND NOAH, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS


Nick and Sharon are one of the only young, married couples on daytime who face their obstacles together. Married since 1997, they've endured infidelity (his, with Grace), family in-fighting (Victor tossed Nick out on his wallet when he learned his son had defied him and bought Crimson Lights) and health scares (Noah, Sharon and just recently, Cassie). But when the chips are down, count on Nick and Sharon to pull together, not apart.

What makes this marriage work? For one thing, they respect one another. Unlike his dad, Nick involves Sharon in his work. If he's jazzed or depressed, he actually tells her. This year, they expanded their coffeehouse business, adding two more locations. We watched as they crunched numbers, put in extra time at Crimson Lights and developed fresh ideas to lure new customers. Often, Cassie could be found at a nearby table doing her homework, with Noah by her side. Cassie's TB scare showed Nick and Sharon at their best, taking turns caring for her while boosting each other's spirits. The return of Matt, the rapist with the new head, will obviously threaten the Newman family's happiness, but our money's on Nick and Sharon coming through with crimson colors.
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Mason


DUMBEST MALE CHARACTER


RIDGE, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


Analyze this: a former girlfriend asks you for a "donation" so she can be artificially inseminated and have a baby. You talk it over with the wife and agree it's not a good idea. But while your spouse is out of town, she sends an e-mail that gives her blessing for you to share a night of procreative sex with your ex. After reading the message you: A) Get your wife on the phone and ask her if she's lost her marbles, or B) Hop in the sack with your former flame, soon proves to be quite the fertile Myrtle...er, Morgan. Since this category is Dumbest Male, Ridge obviously selected Option B. And of course, Morgan was the person who sent the cyber-missive, the authenticity of which was questioned by Ridge for oh, about a minute. Only later was he shocked to learn that wife Taylor didn't send the e-mail. Duh. While Ridge has made some questionable decisions over the years, he's never remotely resembled the village idiot, which is exactly what this bone-headed move made him.
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Mason


DUMBEST FEMALE CHARACTER


GWEN, PASSIONS


Having to name just one dumbest female character on PASSIONS is tough. But Gwen's year-long failure to recognize the growing romance between her fiancé and the housekeeper's daughter puts her ahead of the pack. She didn't catch on when she spied Theresa in Ethan's arms. Or when she found them cuddling in front of a fire. Not even after walking in on Ethan telling an unconscious Theresa that he loved her. Instead of trusting her instincts, the falsely confident (ex) bride-to-be put her young foe in charge of the wedding, then crowned her maid of honor. It's a miracle that Ethan didn't dump her just for being a bumbling fool.

Since Gwen's idiocy also essentially fueled the entire Ethan/Theresa love story, we were willing to accept it, even if it was sloppy storytelling. It would have been more interesting - and believable - to have emphasized the fact that Gwen's willingness to believe everything was okay was based on her unflinchingly self-defeating determination to appear happy, whatever the cost. Now that she's faced the truth, Gwen's grown some brains - and the story's gotten a lot smarter.
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Mason


BEST RECAST


CRAIG, AS THE WORLD TURNS


Frankly, it's shocking that it took three tries in as many years for a charismatic actor like Hunt Block to settle into a daytime role that would stick. The actor specializes in engagingly duplicitous characters, like GUIDING LIGHT's Ben and ALL MY CHILDREN's Guy, but the writers of those shows wasted him as all-purpose villains and quickly wrote him into corners. Luckily, ATWT got it right. Everyone loved Scott Bryce, who played the role on and off for 12 years. But in his last few appearances, Craig just wasn't himself anymore. Block brought back the devious-yet-endearing qualities that defined the character in his golden years. Sure, he's self-serving and crafty with a blurry moral code, but you still can't help but love him. And he's never downright evil, so he won't get himself killed. In this case, for Block (and for us), the third time really is the charm.
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Deleted User

Ew, VOMIT! Hunt Block is a cancer to the acting profession.
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Mason


WORST RECAST


JAKE, ALL MY CHILDREN


When Michael Lowry exited the role of Jake this year, AMC recast with J. Eddie Peck. Trouble is, Jake didn't just get a handsome, new face, he got a new personality - and not a better one. The doc went from an ordinary Joe, who though flawed (he could be whiny and arrogant), was basically your average good guy: solid and dependable. New Jake is puzzling. He's a swaggering superhero one day, who's surly and aloof the next. Say what you will about old Jake, but upon returning from his self-imposed exile, he would have fought tooth and nail for Gillian, not played come here/go away. Old Jake could be morose, but he didn't go on TV-smashing rampages. Old Jake shared an easy humor with brother Tad that's now sadly absent. Old Jake knew how to pronounce his wife's name. It sounds like jill-e-un, not je-yun. (Use the "l"!) AMC looked at dozens of actors and delayed letting Lowry out of his contract while it conducted a search for the Jake recast. Nothing against soap vet J. Eddie Peck, who boasts a fan base from his previous soap stints, but after all the anticipation, Jake's return fell flat.
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Mason


BEST VILLAIN


EDMUND, GUIDING LIGHT


He may be royalty, and he may be charming, but Edmund's more like the Prince of Darkness than a white knight: He injected a comatose Vanessa with poison, broadcast footage of Cassie stripping and blackmailed Phillip with the videotape of Spaulding and his ex-wife making love - wielding his threats with calm confidence and precise grammar. But while Edmund's wily charm and devilish brilliance is captivating, what endears us to this bad boy is knowing that, deep down, he has a soft spot. He bought a stuffed unicorn for Lizzie when she was battling leukemia and befriended a downtrodden Susan, no strings attached. It's Edmund's relationships with these youngsters that show what really makes him tick: He has always played second fiddle to his big brother, do-no-wrong, ruler-of-the-island Richard. Sure, Edmund will sink to any depth, but knowing why he constantly takes that plunge makes for a well-rounded, fascinating villain.
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Mason


BEST VIXEN


NICOLE, DAYS OF OUR LIVES


When Nicole came to town in 1998, she didn't make much of an impression. Who cared about a coffee pourer-turned-fashion model with a "secret" past and no connection to a front-burner family? The character could have slipped out of Salem unnoticed. But something happened when Kate paid Nicole to marry Lucas last year - she turned into a conniving bitch and has now usurped Sami's position as the girl you love to hate. And ever since she cashed that $5 million check, Nicole hasn't paused on her path of destruction: She slept with Rex, Eric and Victor; got Lucas to hit the bottle again, and tortured poor Greta and Fay. Arianne Zuker effectively punctuates Nicole's scenes with a roll of the eyes, a knowing smirk or an exaggerated sigh, clearly relishing her alter ego's about-face. But at the same time, Zuker infuses Nicole with just enough vulnerability (her forced porn past did tug at the heartstrings a bit) so she isn't completely vile. And isn't that the recipe for the perfect vixen?
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Mason


BEST PSYCHO


JULIE, PORT CHARLES


Although there's no such thing as a simple psychosis, Julie's warped mind was more complex than most. Two years ago, she was revealed as the General Homicide killer and institutionalized for a while at Ferncliff. But when Cooper confessed to the murders in March, Julie was exonerated and seemed to become a productive member of society. Her marriage of convenience turned into one of love, and with hubby Chris's help, she held her head high in public. But a true psycho keeps her cards close to the vest, and Julie pulled the rug out from under all of Port Charles when she kidnapped her baby, Christina (who had been adopted by Scott and Lucy)...and disappeared without a trace. This last gotcha echoes around PC to this day - and proved that at least in Julie's case, beauty and the beast were one and the same.
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Mason


MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER


MAY, GUIDING LIGHT


It ain't easy playing the doe-eyed ingenue who, within days after coming to town, beds one half of the show's most popular couple. Unfortunately, May's one-note cluelessness racked up no sympathy vote. How does an audience embrace a character who has never realized that cigarette smoke can cause cancer? May's ability to be flustered by simple routines (greeting casino guests, making change) is not an endearing personality quirk - it was sheer boneheaded flakiness that rubbed everyone the wrong way. We could have accepted an explanation of May's flightiness. An undercover FBI informant? Cognitively challenged? Amnesia? No luck; so far, May is just a sweet, small-town girl in awe of her (as she calls it) "sticky-outy skirt". Oy vey. Even movie-crazed May would realize that her character is one that should have ended up on the cutting-room floor.
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Mason


BEST TEEN COUPLE


PHILIP AND CHLOE, DAYS OF OUR LIVES


At first, Philip and Chloe engaged in a typical high school scenario - popular kid taunts brainy outsider. But DAYS took the (teen)age-old tale in a new direction. While mocking Chloe with chants of "Ghoul Girl", Philip slowly grew enamored with the Object of his Infliction. Eventually, a made-over Chloe wowed Philip at the school dance, but as Chloe soon learned, he'd only agreed to escort her after losing a bet.

From there, DAYS could've gone the predictable route and made the two adversaries again. Instead, they grew closer as Philip ditched his popular buds (a fate worse than death for some teens) and literally went out on a limb to woo her back. His romantic tactics included a Romeo-esque plan to greet Chloe at her window (it went bust when the tree branch broke) and a serenade. Sigh. Is it any wonder she forgave him?

Now that Brady's in town, it looks as if Philip's got competition. But when it comes to wearing his heart on his sleeve, we're certain Phil has another trick up it.
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Mason


BEST NEW COUPLE


LEO AND GREENLEE, ALL MY CHILDREN


The best romances are born of the most unlikely circumstances. That's the case with wicked cynics Leo and Greenlee, pals who schemed to win Becca and Ryan before coming to their senses - and the conclusion that they belong with each other. With their sizzling chemistry and sparkling wit, this unorthodox duo brightens even the dullest of scenes. Take the one where Greens crashed a Halloween bash dressed as a harem girl and flirted with Leo at the punch bowl: "Could you pour a cup for me? I've traveled so long and so far. I need some refreshment so I can dance with you, O noble master," she purred. "You're going to have to rock somebody else's casbah; I've got a date," was his wry response. Rather than telling us that the pair is in love, AMC shows us with lots of scenes of playful romance like that bubble bath or the tender moment when Leo gave Greens a puppy. Add undeniable heat between Rebecca Budig and Josh Duhamel, two of AMC's most riveting performers, and you've got a winning team.
Edited by Mason, Dec 12 2009, 10:31 PM.
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Mason


MOST ENTERTAINING DAYTIME COUPLE


TABITHA AND TIMMY, PASSIONS


A recent Internet search yielded more than 150 Web site mentions of them. Characters on POPULAR and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER have talked about them. They're definitely PASSIONS's most recognizable duo, but in the pantheon of memorable soap couples, Tabitha and Timmy will surely go down as the strangest. Because they're so unorthodox - remember, Tabitha is a 300-year-old witch and Timmy's a living doll - they're something that's gotten increasingly rare: daytime originals. Just watch Timmy get the stuffing kicked out of him trying to save his "Princess," Tabby's merciless scolding ("Unless Timmy wants to be replaced like Darrin was on BEWITCHED, Timmy better get with the program," she once snapped) or the countless montages where one mourns the other's "demise" to sweeping, romantic songs like "My Heart Will Go On", and try not to laugh. It's funny because of that bizarre juxtaposition of an unconventional couple with traditional soap operatic notions of true love. In essence, Tabitha and Timmy are the perfect ambassadors for the surreal, topsy-turvy world of PASSIONS. No wonder everyone took notice.
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Mason


MOST ENTERTAINING PRIME-TIME COUPLE


MEGHAN AND SEAN, FELICITY


On paper, goofy "entrepreneur" Sean and Gothic Meghan hardly seemed a potential match. But as this unlikely coupling started playing out, we realized just how much they shared: a keen eye for fun, a hearty sense of humor and, most importantly, an acceptance that they each march to the beat of a different drummer. Let's not forget how they hooked up. Sean, creator of the condiment "Smoothaise", noticed Meghan not for her looks, but for her "smart cookies". Later, he gave her a skull necklace (the first time anyone gave her jewelry not meant for her nose, tongue or navel, she noted). And their conversations are always peppered with zingy one-liners (she comments on his nose; he on her job as a phone-sex operator). But beneath the sarcasm lies a real love, as evidenced when Meghan helped Sean through his health crisis. What's in the stars for this budding Ron Popeil and his Wiccan woman? We couldn't even begin to guess. But so far, it's been nothing short of magical.
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Mason


BEST REMOTE


VENICE, ITALY, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


In a year when soaps rarely ventured outside, this tip of the hat was a no-brainer. But B&B's eye-popping location shoot in Venice, Italy, deserves high praise because it was in a class by itself in more ways than one. The show's last trip to Italy, in 1997, featured a Lake Como fashion show dripping with glitz and glamour. This time, dreamy Venice served as the backdrop for three emotional tales: Thorne and Brooke's taboo romance, Amber and Rick falling in love again and Becky's decision to reclaim her baby. Venice's famous canals, striking architecture and enchanting local color enhanced, but never overwhelmed, the unfolding drama. We couldn't help but be swept away when Thorne proposed to Brooke near the Rialto Bridge, Rick and Amber took an intimate gondola ride and Tawny chased Becky through the streets into a tower. This remote was an inspired idea that succeeded on every level. We're grateful that B&B schlepped to Venice, Italy, and not Venice, CA. These plots just wouldn't have played the same at Muscle Beach!
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Mason


WORST "REMOTE"


SURVIVOR ISLAND, AS THE WORLD TURNS


We're joking, of course, by calling Lily and Simon's island adventure a remote. Yes, the whole thing had to be done in ATWT's Brooklyn studio. Yes, the castaway story was the only way to develop the Lily/Simon relationship while letting Rose wreak havoc in Oakdale. And yes, talented and engaging performers Martha Byrne and Paul Leyden did their best to rise above the, uh, location. But that's still no excuse for this sandtrap of a plot point, which included parachute bikinis, fishing spears, makeshift rafts and everything else short of the tribal council tiki torches. Add the ham and cheese factor of two over-the-top stranded psychos (Celia and Cooley), and there were enough clichés to make Gervase blush. Which forces us to resort to our own cliché: This island story should have been voted off the show long before it actually ended.



(Screw SOD, this was one of my favorite ATWT storylines ever!)
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