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SOD Best & Worst -- 2000
Topic Started: Dec 7 2009, 03:45 PM (1,477 Views)
Mason


BEST DISASTER


PROM BOAT, PASSIONS


In the slick campfest that is PASSIONS, it was only a matter of time before the show tackled that great soap tradition: the all-encompassing disaster that forces everyone into life-or-death situations ripe for confessions of love, spilled secrets and unlikely bonding. Thanks to a possessed pendant (an homage to Titanic's Heart of the Ocean?), orange-eyed, demon-voiced, lightning-spewing "Evil" Charity made her debut and promptly brewed up a perfect storm, dooming the prom boat. Who could forget Theresa bobbing in the frigid water, gasping for breath so she could talk to herself? Or Whitney's seeming willingness to die rather than be helped by the boy who irked her? Or a jealous Gwen's decision to confront Ethan while the boat broke into pieces? Of course, storylines were advanced (as much as they ever are on this show), and the effects were impressive. But the bottom line is that grand spectacles like this - and the recent mine shaft troubles - are what PASSIONS is all about.
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Mason


WORST DISASTER


THE PLANE CRASH, DAYS OF OUR LIVES


Eleven contract players aboard a private plane - who didn't know that something would go terribly wrong? And it did en route to France. Dr. Rolf messed with the mechanics, causing the jet to crash and passenger John to revert to mercenary mode. Panic ensued, debris flew through the cabin, the door popped open and Greta - all 100 pounds of her - boldly offered to shut it. Everyone on the front-burner survived; too bad the story didn't end there. Instead, it turned into an episode of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. After taking refuge on an isle, Alice found her doughnut maker, which miraculously survived, as did Shawn's keyboard, which was very lucky, indeed. Shawn, Lili, Mimi and Belle...er...entertained the castaways with a variety show that mercifully ended with the arrival of the rescue team. Next time, do us a favor and fly commercial.
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Mason
Dec 15 2009, 09:20 PM
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!)
Really? Never seen it. But it sure does sound completely horrible LOL
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Mason


Amello
Dec 15 2009, 09:34 PM
Really? Never seen it. But it sure does sound completely horrible LOL
Well, it wasn't. It was probably that cow Hinsey that wrote this one, LoL. We all know she has no taste.
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Mason


DUMBEST AXING


ROBIN STRASSER, ONE LIFE TO LIVE


We didn't think at this stage in the game that anyone would need the lecture on "Why We Should Treasure Our Divas" again. But clearly, OLTL has been sleeping in class. Divas are high-maintenance. They're long-time actresses who can be, uh, challenging backstage, but on-screen are the jewels in soaps' crowns. So why did Robin Strasser get treated like cubic zirconia? Without Strasser's Dorian, grande dame Viki is left without a foil, the Cramer family has no figurehead and Llanview is left without a self-serving, manipulative center, which is just as bad as if it had lost its moral core. For now, Strasser is whipping up a storm as PASSIONS's Hecuba - but we sense fences could be mended once she finishes up there. Llanview needs its Dorian, and OLTL needs its rotten-core foundation.
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Mason


BEST USE OF HISTORY


PC'S SCOTT CROSSES OVER, GENERAL HOSPITAL


GH has always excelled at mining its 37-year history. So, it was little surprise that when the powers-that-be decided to "borrow" Scott Baldwin from spin-off PORT CHARLES, it would be a huge it. To begin with, Scott - and his devilishly appealing portrayer, Kin Shriner - are already such an integral part of the GH canvas that the return of both required no transition. GH inserted Scott in the storyline from whence he came (the doings of Luke and Laura) by having him serve as the hilariously reluctant defense lawyer to thorn-in-the-side Luke and sympathetic supporter to ex-wife Laura - but hardly dwelled on the past. What we saw was the updated version of Scott's relationship with his lifelong compatriots; that not only has this character endured, he has flourished. Once again, viewers are reminded that Shriner's Scott is a part of GH history - and he still knows how to make his own.
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Mason


GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN


ANOTHER WORLD ON AS THE WORLD TURNS


When soaps are canceled, the characters disappear into oblivion. Fortunately, ANOTHER WORLD still spins in Oakdale. What began as a gimmick, crossing over Cass, Lila, Jake and Vicky (and later, Marley and Cindy), has evolved into a universal story about love and loss. Since Vicky's death, we've seen Jake mourn, then take baby steps toward a romance with Molly. Thanks to superb writing, careful pacing and the undeniable chemistry of Tom Eplin and Lesli Kay, fans have embraced their relationship. Then, when Jake was ready to move on, the writers threw a curve ball: Ghost Vicky. To make sense of this otherworldly situation, Jake and Cass shared a profound discussion about lost loves that resonated for fans of both shows. Donna's heart-to-hearts with Molly, Marley's meetings with Jake and Cindy's surprise visit demonstrated how characters can blend seamlessly into the fabric of another soap's canvas. There truly is ANOTHER WORLD, and right now, it's in Oakdale.
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Mason


BEST BREAKUP


RICK AND ABBY, GUIDING LIGHT


Breakups are a dime a dozen on soaps, but it was Rick and Abby's obvious reluctance to call it quits that made their split so poignant. The Bauers were still very much in love when Abby bid good-bye, leaving Rick sobbing on the kitchen floor. Their terse arguments (he wanted kids, she didn't) and Rick's impassioned pleas to save their marriage were heartbreaking and realistic because the matter at hand seemed to have no obvious resolution. And the breakup was related directly to their respective histories: Rick had his hopes raised and dashed before (Meredith's baby and Blake's son, Kevin), but when Amish-raised Abby regained her hearing, a new world opened up - that didn't include children. In the end, for Rick and Abby, love didn't conquer all. It's hard to watch a marriage sour, but it's wrenching to see a husband and wife in love who realize that it wasn't meant to be.
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Mason


BEST REVENGE


THE ENDICOTT AWARDS, AS THE WORLD TURNS


Boy, did Katie have it coming to her. For months, she had been lying, cheating and conniving to oust Molly, win Holden and build her career. The Endicott Awards, which should have been her finest moment, ended up spelling her doom. Several different storylines converged as Molly, Jake, Abigail, Chris and Rose teamed up to expose all of Katie's schemes via videotape, and wham! Just like that, Katie tumbled back to the bottom of the ladder in a sputtering, whiny heap. The avengers may have been more than satisfied, but this revenge was sweetest for Katie's character. It was a turning point for her. And though she still hasn't truly learned her lesson, Katie's hilarious, pathetic attempts to get back on her feet have been the best reward.
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Mason


WORST MYSTERY


FRANCO'S MURDER, DAYS OF OUR LIVES


Remember Franco Kelly? No? Well, then you must have started watching DAYS OF OUR LIVES after September, 1998, when the Italian stallion was murdered by Lucas before he could marry Sami, who was framed for the crime. In the spring of 1999, Sami was nearly executed, but spared at the last minute. Story over? Nope. During the summer of 2000, Sami and Brandon traveled to Naples, Italy to get the evidence they needed to pin the killing on Lucas. Victor, Kate and Lucas tried to stop them by drugging and gaslighting Sami. In between awful accents, a dopey disguise (Lucas - yikes!) and silly plot twists (hello, the Will doll), Brandon and Sami embarked on a lukewarm romance that went nowhere. Sure, murder cases can take years to solve, but in Salem, where reality is not a priority, it's time to end this drawn-out whodunit. And hey, what was the name of the guy who died?
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Mason


BEST TEARJERKER


MACY'S DEATH, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL


It's always sad when a woman is struck down in her prime, but Macy's demise was all the more tragic because she died with a broken heart. Since 1989, we've been rooting for this spunky heroine, cheering when she beat cancer and the bottle. But lasting love was elusive, and we suffered with Macy each time she and Thorne were torn asunder. When the couple re-wed, Macy believed that the third time was the charm. However, it soon became clear that Thorne was still head over heels for Brooke. A devastated Macy fell off the wagon as she tried to salvage her marriage. She ended up regaining her dignity, letting Thorne go and planning to enter rehab. But a run-in with Brooke resulted in Macy getting into a car wreck, with her rival as the passenger. Then came the tragic twist: When Thorne arrived, selfless Macy insisted that he tend to an injured Brooke first. Macy was left trapped in the car, which exploded. Sweet, kind Macy deserved the best, but got the shaft, dying with her romantic dream unfulfilled. No wonder everyone sobbed at her funeral, including dueling dowagers Sally and Stephanie, who grieved in each other's arms. It just wasn't fair.
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Mason


BEST TEEN STORY


GLOW BY JABOT, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS


Glow by Jabot's summer Internet campaign initially sounded duller than BIG BROTHER. A bunch of people sitting around a house talking? Without so much as an immunity challenge to liven things up? But execution is everything, and THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS surprised us by delivering a story that was anything but all wet.

Billy, Brittany, Raul and Rianna tanning in skimpy bathing suits by the pool would not have been enough to hold our interest all summer, but the unexpected addition of Phyllis as producer - with fearful Mac as her assistant - raised the mercury. While Mac skulked around hiding from the Webcam, Phyllis advised Brittany on the finer points of tricking a man into sleeping with her. When Brittany discovered that her "boyfriend", Billy, was secretly locking lips with Mac, she turned the tables with a lusty scenario that tore Billy and Mac apart. With Phyllis as Brittany's mentor, don't bet on the star-crossed Billy and Mac to come out of this as SURVIVORS.
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Mason


BEST STORY


THE BATTLE FOR JABOT, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS


A year ago, the Abbotts were reveling in the fact that Jabot was safely back in the family. The celebration proved premature, though, because Victor still held a promissory note, payable on demand. When Jabot launched a cosmetics teen line to directly compete with Brash & Sassy, Victor called in the hefty balloon payment, prompting Jack to ask for money from everybody in town, with the possible exception of Miguel. Unaware that Victor was pulling the strings, a disbelieving Jack exhausted all avenues until it looked like The Mustache would once again get his hands on the company that the Abbotts had built. At the 11th hour, Nikki stepped in with a sizable check, which, combined with Brad's millions, saved Jabot from Victor's clutches. Curses, foiled again.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS knows exactly how to personalize the corporate intrigue. Now, Victor's ex-wife, Nikki, and his mortal enemy, Brad, have a voice at Jabot, making them forces to be reckoned with. And Victor's unexpected romance with Ashley was nipped square in the portfolio when she learned that her ex was once again going after her brother. Jabot may have staved off Victor's latest attack, but you know that he'll be trying to take over that company until Genoa City freezes over. Even the great Victor Newman may have trouble going up against Jack, Ashley, Nikki and Brad - unless, of course, one of them gets enterprising and switches sides.
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Mason


WORST STORY


HELENA/CHLOE/LUCKY, GENERAL HOSPITAL


GENERAL HOSPITAL, by and large, is not a show that indulges in disbelief-suspension storylines. Which is why, perhaps, viewers felt at a loss when they found themselves facing two such fantastical tales this year: Chloe's psychic dreams and Lucky's brainwashing.

Let's first review the Chloe yarn. Helena runs down Chloe (thinking that she's Alexis), rendering Chloe blind. Chloe then develops a brain tumor, and discovers that she's able to see through Helena's eyes via dreams. While in theory, this fable had potential (Helena essentially causing her own undoing), it quickly became cartoonish and dragged-out. Save for the time Helena (clad in Catwomanly garb, no less) tried to kill Chloe, Mrs. C did little more than lurk after her "prey". And let's not forget the convoluted medical plot points that alternately had Chloe fearing for her survival, then barely mentioning her life-threatening malady.

As for Helena's masterminding of Lucky's brainwashing, that, too, appeared initially to have promise. What better revenge against long-time enemies Luke and Laura than to cause them to lose their son twice - first by "killing" him, then returning him alive, but hateful and changed. What should have become a struggle for Lucky's soul between his controller, Helena, and his parents, however, morphed into a silly story that had Helena more focused on using Lucky to get her grandson a girlfriend than unleashing her wrath.

These days, Lucky has moved into a more grounded story, but Chloe remains entrenched in her Eyes of Laura Mars-esque tale. Let's just hope GH sees clear to focus on a return to reality across the board...lest viewers start looking elsewhere for their afternoon entertainment.
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Mason


MOST IMPROVED SHOW


DAYS OF OUR LIVES


For a long time, DAYS OF OUR LIVES suffered the effects of head-writer roulette: After James E. Reilly's highly touted reign ended in 1997, the show was unfocused. Sally Sussman-Morina and Lorraine Broderick tried to pick up the pieces, but couldn't. In fact, Broderick lasted a mere two months before Executive Producer Tom Langan assumed the post of head scribe in September of '99.

Well, Langan, who previously toiled at THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, must have learned a lot from soap master William J. Bell because DAYS has made a remarkable turnaround. Langan's first order of business: Concentrate on basics, especially families. To that end, he brought back fan favorites like John Aniston (Victor), Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Doug and Julie), and most recently, Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), which helped repair fractured clans. He reunited couples who had been apart far too long (Bo and Hope, John and Marlena), moved others (like Abe and Lexie) to the front-burner and created realistic problems for all. And he successfully wove Generation Next, who had been woefully under-represented, into Salem society.

At the same time, Langan didn't completely abandon the wacky plots that DAYS fans are used to. (Hattie worked; Virtual Reality didn't.) He streamlined the show by cutting out annoying plot recap and abolished the lazy-writer habit of incorporating frequent flashbacks. After all that, he crafted a tale that touched nearly everyone in town: John fathering Hope's baby. The repercussions have - and will - provide storyline for a long time.

If these are the changes that Langan, Executive Producer Ken Corday and Co. have made in merely a year, the future looks very bright in Salem, indeed.




(This is such a crock. Langan was one of the worst head writers DAYS ever had, and his tenure was the first time I was ever bored with the show. Then again, the fact that they named it Most Improved for the same year that gave us Virtual Garden of Crap pretty much says it all.)
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Mason


MOST DISAPPOINTING SHOW


ONE LIFE TO LIVE


It is impossible to be disappointed without having first had high expectations. On the surface, ONE LIFE TO LIVE has it all: beautiful sets, stylish costumes and (as we've stated previously) the most game group of actors in daytime. But this year, ONE LIFE has been all enthusiasm and no follow-through. Stories last past their expiration date (Matthew's paternity, Max's sham Buchanan-hood, who is Rae's child), have haphazard twists with no ripple effect (Will's on the run - no, wait, he's in a rock band - no, wait, he's in Ireland - no, wait, he's home free), or occasionally succeed thanks to a combination of ad-libbing (we can't believe Todd's lines are written that way) and pitch-perfect honing-in on character (that Catherine Hickland hasn't drowned in Lindsay's nonsensical character is a tribute to the actress's adaptive talents). It's as if the powers-that-be took a handful of story ideas from a hat and threw them at a wall. What stuck, played out. What fell to the floor was saved for another go-round.

It's hard not to be frustrated. Some actors rise above their material, and other times the writing positively glows. But there's also dead weight and missing opportunities. Remember OLTL's controversial social issues? Remember fully realized characters whose lives intertwined with more than two or three select others? OLTL remains a show well worth watching, but better to take stock now than wait until it's too late to make a difference.
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Mason


BEST PRIME-TIME SHOW


DAWSON'S CREEK


Her choice - as the billboards, magazine ads and commercials said for months - changed everything. For the better, we would add. CREEK, which had been so stagnant in its sophomore season - relying on out-of-character, plot-driven decisions to explain the see-sawing emotions of the core teens while also splintering them into disjointed storylines - went back to the basics. Above all, the brilliantly conceived, realistic, slow-building romance between Joey and Pacey reinvigorated the show. Their dynamic challenged the Dawson/Joey "soul mate" dogma that had relied too much on back story from the beginning, and the show built rooting value by showing us that these two belonged together way before they ever considered it. By the second episode to air in 2000, viewers knew for sure that Pacey was in love with Joey, making the anticipation level for the next 11 episodes almost unbearable. Suddenly, CREEK was can't-miss again, which is the whole point of serial drama. When Dawson learned the truth, the friendships at the show's foundation were forever altered.

At the outset of the new season, the show continued to focus on the ramifications of Joey's decision to be with Pacey. The fractured clique is slowly being repaired, while Pacey and Joey struggle to hold on to what they have. Even Jack and Jen, who had been flailing in their own half-explored plotlines, have been brought back into the fold, thanks to a departing Andie.

CREEK has always stood out because of its unparalleled cast of young actors and sharp dialogue. But to relive the glory days of Season One, they had to get back to matters of the heart.
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Mason


BEST SHOW


AS THE WORLD TURNS


Douglas Marland's name has haunted ATWT for years. It was during that late, great head writer's reign that the show celebrated its last golden age, evoking memories of another ATWT legend, Irna Phillips. Then again, the show has always had a lot of history to live up to; so much that even respected regimes have choked on it. While some chose to ignore the last 44 years and still make a good show, they could never sustain it without foundation.

And then along came Hogan Sheffer, a one-man argument for infusing new blood into daytime. The groundwork laid by his predecessors - Carly dumping Jack at the altar under duress, Molly going into a coma after her fling with Chris was exposed, Lily getting bored with her home life - was intriguing, but unfocused. Sheffer gave them - and by extension, the show - life. Carly's renewed sense of entitlement to Jack actually makes sense for the first time in a while. Molly found love with Jake, but the specter of his late wife hangs over them (literally). Lily is torn between passion for Simon and the stability of home. Rather than try to turn ATWT into his own creation, Sheffer embraced what he inherited and built on it. The characters began behaving, well, in character. The veteran cast was given work worthy of their talents; the writing is sharper, wittier and riddled with references to the past. The little details matter, too: Katie writing "I love Simon" on the steamy car window after sex brilliantly makes sense considering her childish mindset; Jack reminding Carly of the compass is especially meaningful because it's a component of their romance; visits from out-of-towners like Iva, unheard of before, are commonplace now.

ATWT finally got what perennially great shows like Y&R (this year being no exception) have always known - the past is a gift. Marland would be proud.
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Sindacco
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Mason
Dec 15 2009, 10:05 PM
WORST MYSTERY


FRANCO'S MURDER, DAYS OF OUR LIVES


Remember Franco Kelly? No? Well, then you must have started watching DAYS OF OUR LIVES after September, 1998, when the Italian stallion was murdered by Lucas before he could marry Sami, who was framed for the crime. In the spring of 1999, Sami was nearly executed, but spared at the last minute. Story over? Nope. During the summer of 2000, Sami and Brandon traveled to Naples, Italy to get the evidence they needed to pin the killing on Lucas. Victor, Kate and Lucas tried to stop them by drugging and gaslighting Sami. In between awful accents, a dopey disguise (Lucas - yikes!) and silly plot twists (hello, the Will doll), Brandon and Sami embarked on a lukewarm romance that went nowhere. Sure, murder cases can take years to solve, but in Salem, where reality is not a priority, it's time to end this drawn-out whodunit. And hey, what was the name of the guy who died?
Hell no. That was the only good story on Days in 2000. Sure Langan rewrote some stuff when he started it again but it was still good.
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juniorz1
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The Royal Stoner

2000 was the year I finally got hooked on ATWT. They definitely got it right that year, from about June or so on. The Endicott Awards were fucking amazing and one of my all-time favorite Oakdale "events."
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